November 24, 2008

Squeeze My Eyes Out: An Illegal Eye Gouge

The M-1 Challenge 9 that took place on November 21, 2008 in Saint-Petersburg, Russia made me think about Yuki Nakai. Specifically, the M-1 fight between Musa Khamanaev (Sambo Team Legion) and Bogdan Cristea (Netherlands) reminded me of the 1995 Vale Tudo tournament in Japan. Yuki Nakai lost vision in his right eye after an illegally eye gouge by Gerard Gordeau.

As Teddy Atlas exclaimed after the infamous sucker punch at the conclusion of James Butler vs. Richard Grant: "Throw him in jail and throw away the key! Please."

November 19, 2008

Kids at Jiu-Jitsu Training

Last Saturday, I came to the dojo one hour earlier by mistake. I was surprised to see three young boys training there. I think the boys were between 7 and 9 years old. I also saw an infant sitting in the corner, to whom I did not pay attention at first.

I went upstairs to an observation balcony so that I could watch the kids at training. There I saw three fathers who were watching over their children. The fathers were all jiu-jitsu students from the adult class.

The boys rolled with each other at first. Then they rolled with our black belt professor. After a while and to my surprise, the professor pointed at the little infant. I realized it was a tiny girl. She stood up and proceeded to roll with the professor. First she tried an arm-bar, then she tried to apply a choke. The professor was flipping and turning at a slow speed, letting the girl press the action. After a few minutes, the professor finally tapped out.

The whole scene made me smile. As I looked around, one of the fathers said to me proudly, “This is my daughter. She is 5 years old.” All I could say was, “wow”. The father continued, “All of her girlfriends train at tae kwon do, but look, jiu-jitsu is more effective, what do you think?”

I hesitated for a second. Then I said, “tae kwon do is probably good for flexibility.” I felt the father was a little disappointed that I slightly resisted his reasoning, even though I am a jiu-jitsu disciple myself. The father wanted more assurance from me so he said: “Look, I weigh 200 pounds. I once rolled with a small girl who had a purple belt and she tapped me out.” I nodded approvingly and the father seemed to settle.

Photo Credit: Gracie Barra Westchester.